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This all started when I purchased new wheels. The company I bought them from suggested a +42 offset for the speed6, and although I thought this wasn't high enough, I deferred to their expertise. That was a mistake. I ended up with 19x7.5 +42 offset wheels with 235/35 tires. At first no problem until my wife came home and told me that she heard the tires rub. SInce I want to lower the car a little and use my back seat freely, I had to get this rubbing taken care of. I spent a day calling around trying to find a shop to roll my fenders because I didn't want to spend the $250.00 for the tool. I found one shop that said they could do it but when I took it in they said it would take them 8 hours to do 2 fenders at $45/hr. I left quickly in case whatever mental disease they must have had was contagious. I found another body shop that said he would do it for $40/fender and assured me he had the right tool for the job, so I gave in and had him do it. Turns out that he just hammered away at my fender with some pneumatic tool ( I would have preferred a baseball bat to that!) and only rolled the top of the fenders a little but assured me that it would not rub, and if it did, just bring it back. Here's a picture of about how much he did.



It might have even been the very next day that my wife, who didn't want me to get the wheels in the first place, comes home in a bad mood. The wheel rubbed again when she was turning a corner and this time actually bent the fender.



After this I broke down and bought the tool from eastwood, borrowed a heat gun from a friend and decided to take it on myself. Yes I read the write-up at mazda6tech.com and no I've never done anything like this before.

As I start to get ready to do the work, I realize that the shop that rolled my fenders forgot to put the keys for my wheel locks back in my car so I had to waste an hour and a half going to his shop to pick them up. When I called him to ask if he had them I told him that the car was still rubbing so I had to buy the fender rolling tool to do it right. He asked me, " Did the tool work?" "Gee, I don't know, I CAN"T GET MY WHEELS OFF!"

Once started, I was relieved to find the tool easy to figure out, even for me. After removing the wheel you are supposed to install the plate of the roller right to where the wheel mounts. Then put on the 5 provided washers which are about 1/4 inch thick and shaped in a way that your lug nuts will fit inside of them to hold the roller in place. Once I had it all installed and got started I realized that the rolling tool did not clear the brake caliper . So I had to remove it and put the washers behind the plate of the roller giving another 1/4" of clearance, enough to clear. Then I started heating and rolling.



I focused first on the dent area.



Once that was back to normal I continued with the rest giving as much roll as I could going slow and doing small sections at a time.



Things were finally going smoothly and mistakenly, I started thinking my problems were over when, halfway through the first fender, the roller breaks!!! The bolt on the back which holds the tension came flying off, busting the cotter pin, causing me to lose all pressure. I put the bolt back on but had to keep tightening it to keep it from coming off. This turned out to be very annoying.

Towards the rear of the fender where the metal meets the (plastic?), I ran into more troubles :irate:. It seemed like the metal was moving slightly upward with the roll and separating from the plastic. So I slowed down a lot and heated it up well to try to make it more pliable. The problem came when I accidently touched the plastic, which was hot, peeling the paint right off :doh:.



Be careful with the heat especially in this area!! The reason I say this is because the other side was even worse! I was really careful not to touch the other side after what happened, but the stupid broken tool slipped and folded up the hot pliable plastic corner like an accordion! To say I was upset is a colossal understatement. I couldn't even imagine how to fix it so I just continued on and finished the job.

Once I got the wheels back on, I wanted to be sure that there would be no rubbing. So into the trunk went 64 liters of water, the jack which must have weighed 70 lbs., an air compressor, 530 pounds of weights, and me pushing down.



Once it was weighed down I felt the spacing between the fender and the wheel and was able to fit my fingers between them. The only problem area remaining might be on the drivers side where the metal and plastic meet. the metal has a corner there that is a pain to bend and although I was able to bend it smooth on the passenger side, once the tool slipped and messed up the plastic I avoided that area on the drivers side. It does seem like the car will bottom out before rubbing there though.

This is the view looking up before I started.



And this is after.



After a few days of driving I've had no rubbing at all. I'm still not sure what to do about the messed up corners but thankfully it doesn't stand out, you really have to look for the blemishes.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Is it the picture or did you push the whole fender out??
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I forgot to mention that. I didn't do it, to answer your question, that is how it looked after I took it to the shop. I was trying to convince myself that it is an optical illusion or just the angle. I think it looks the same on both sides.
 

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I rolled my fenders and helped 4 other Mazda6 owners (not Speeds) do theirs a couple of months ago.

The rear of the fender where it meets up with the tip of the bumper does not bulge out like that stock. The bulge is a result of using a lot of force during the rolling process. The first fender I did on mine has a slight bulge as well. I noticed it so was more careful on the other side. It's not nearly as noticeable as the bulge in these pics though. On my car you'd have to be specificaly looking for it and also compare it to the other side to see that there is a bulge. It's easy to do that because that part of the fender lip is very difficult to fold as there is a double fold at the tip. That are doesn't seem to be a big source of rubbing however.

It sounds like you used a bit too much heat. It's easy to do that, especially if you don't want to crack the paint and the fender doesn't seem to be folding over much. I find I almost got into the mindset that using more heat may soften the metal enough to help it fold better. Of course this isn't true.

It's a bit too late for you now, but as I used the rolling tool I realized that the angle of the head has to be constantly adjusted. Visualize the cross section of the fender and lip. The fender is vertical, with a lip that folds into horizontally. To fold the lip you essentially "rotate" the lip upwards, with the edge as the fulcrum. At the very beginning the lip has to move upwards more than outwards (towards inside of vertical fender surface)

At the beginning, when the lip is still horizontal, I set the angle of the head so that the roller is meeting the lip at approx 45-50 degrees. This presses the lip upwards. As the lip moves further and further upwards, the angle of the head needs to be adjusted so that the rolling surface becomes more and more vertical.

If the rolling surface of the tool is set too vertical at the beginning, all you're doing is pushing the whole lip outwards, bulging the whole fender outwards.

If the angle of the head is not adjusted to be more vertical as the lip starts to fold, you'll lose contact with the loose edge of the lip (because it's folded up already) and all the force being applied by the roller will bear against the fold. Frustration will set in because the lip doesn't seem to b moving, so the roller is cranked up to apply more pressure. Eventually the lip will move, but the fender has been bulged out at this point.

Finally, the whole fender opening is not consistently vertical across it's arc. What I mean is that the top of the arch sticks further out than the front and rear sides. If the roller is set for the top of the arch it'll be too much for the front and rear sides.

It definitely takes a bit of experience to use the tool properly, but overall I found it worked quite well. Of course I didn't have as serious a problem as you did, since my RX8 wheels have a 50mm offset vs your 42mm. That 8mm (1/3 of an inch) makes a very significant difference when you're talking about rolling a fender lip that in itself is only about 2/3 inch to an inch wide.
 

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this bulge is a very common rookie mistake. you should actually do this with a spotter looking down the side of the car to make sure you aren't applying too much pressure. the lip will roll with slightly less pressure but it will take more passes. reducing the pressure will help keep the fender from bulging. Remember, DO NOT RUSH. This process is supposed to take time. Trying to get it done in a few passes will only result in bulging the fender.

The alternative to fender rolling is to grind the lip. The lip is about 17-18mm IIRC. grinding it down to about 7-8 mm should work in most cases. It's a bit trickier and requires some finesse so as not to slip with the grinder and take out a chunk of paint from the body but, this will eliminate any chance of bulging. Just make sure you seal the bare edge with primer and several coats of paint. Alternatively you could suse some black latex insulation paint, the kind used to coat the handles of tools. This will provide a weatherproof seal on the lip.
 

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Dang... First off - *thank you* for sharing your experience with all of us. It is very well documented and has raised my understanding of the process aside from the task.

For those of us who have not roll our own yet, I can say for myself that I will refer to this post in the future.

In the end, I think you achieved what you needed to achieve in order to make the wheels fit. I think all the stuff in the back is proof positive!

Good luck in the rest of your modding experience,

Alex
 

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yeah, man....even though you seemed to have a helluva time, I gotta say you made your point. Thats a tough job, and can imagine a scarey one too. The pic with all the weight in the trunk is priceless by the way.

For what its worth, I think you did a great job considering...especially with 19s!

and..the write-up was money
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Argento!! Thats why I wrote this up. I wish I could have known a few things before I started. What I did read was done by peole much more adept than myself making it seem easier than it was. That being said, if I ever had to do it again it would be easy :yesnod:

Super Car Tastes - Skoda Budget, I did realize that there was quite a bit more adjusting than I thought there would be thankfully before I got too far. It seemed at first like it was going to curl the fender lip so I would adjust the angle, roll a little, adjust, roll and so on. I even realized this before starting. I wish I knew about the heat especially since it was probably 90 degrees outside (yes that's cool for florida). The heat was definitely my biggest downfall.

dj petey, The bulge was there before I started thanks to the shop. But from what you said I bet I made it worse since that is where the tough corner is. I can post a pic of how the good corner ended up as well as the melted plastic later.

yeah, man....even though you seemed to have a helluva time, I gotta say you made your point. Thats a tough job, and can imagine a scarey one too. The pic with all the weight in the trunk is priceless by the way.

For what its worth, I think you did a great job considering...especially with 19s!

and..the write-up was money
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Thanks - still trying to figure out center caps for the 19's however. Didn't come with any
 

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Maybe.. someday car companies will fix this fucking problem for us all together... And realize some people like larger rims... and lowered cars... It would be SOOOOOO goddamn easy to design the car correctly in the first place making there NO chance for the wheels to rub.. ever... A car should bottom out before the wheels start hitting anything...
 

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Maybe.. someday car companies will fix this fucking problem for us all together... And realize some people like larger rims... and lowered cars... It would be SOOOOOO goddamn easy to design the car correctly in the first place making there NO chance for the wheels to rub.. ever... A car should bottom out before the wheels start hitting anything...
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But it never stops. What size would you say they should design for? 335/30s? It's human nature to try to take advantage and push the limits on everything.

If a car came with 215/45, like ours, but was designed to handle 245/40, don't you think some people would try to fit on 255s or 265s? And if max size was 255, wouldn't those same people try to fit on 275s or 285s? I certainly would, and then I'd be in the same position as I am now with 215s.

And if our Speed6s came with fenders that could accomodate 255s but only had 225s stock, what would the car look like for the people that leave it stock? There are some of those out there too. Can you imagine a Toyota Yaris with fenders sized to take 255 tires? :eek: And in some parts of the world the car would be too wide to go down some streets, or would we be willing to pay a premium to have different fender stampings?

I agree it would be nice, but it's probably not going to happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well I didn't get a chance to take a picture of the melted plastic but here is one of the difficult bend where the plastic and the metal meet. You can see how the fender curled up away from the plastic. This is the area to be really careful and take your time. For me it was by far the hardest. From the angle here it looks worse than it is, thankfully!

 

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Thanks for sharing your experience and sorry to hear about the paint and idiot local shop. I think this thread should be stickied, lots of useful information.
 
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